GHRP Series

tl;dr GHRPs are synthetic peptides at the cutting edge of science. They control your body’s release of Human Growth Hormone, which then controls muscle growth and soft tissue repair. Ipamorelin seems to be the most popular for bodybuilders but GHRP-6 is getting all the medical research. It’s also worth noting that GHRPs also mimic the effects of ghrelin - a natural hormone implicated in recovery and repair.

GHRP-6 structure Ipamorelin structure


GHRP is a type of Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide. These are synthetic peptides that also tell your pituitary gland it is time to get to work and release hGH. This action puts them in class of peptides called “secretagogues.”

All do pretty much the same thing…

Rather than write about each single GHRP in it’s own article we’ll talk about the entire GHRP series in one place. They have many features in common including similar dosing, results, side effects, and structure.

Most importantly they all have been proven effective at raising hGH levels.

GHRP is similar to GHRH

GnRH structure

GHRP sounds suspiciously similar to GHRH. This isn’t a typo.

Works with GHRH for hGH production

They are similar in function to the body’s Growth Hormone–Releasing Hormones (GHRH), such as GRF (1-29). Their chemical structures are different though, and they bind to different receptors.

Your body can use both to manage it’s secretion of hGH. But only ghrH is a naturally produced hormone - ghrP is a synthetic peptide.

When used together, your body makes more hGH than normal. The scientific explanation is they work by a “unique and complementary dual site of action.”1 A 1993 paper2 was one of the first to call out the synergistic effect of magnified results when a GHRP is combined with GHRH.

So anytime a peptide starts with “GHRP” this is what you’re dealing with. It’s capable of making a pituitary release hGH - but it’s just one part of the puzzle.

GHRP is also similar to Ghrelin

Also has other unique effects

The GHRP series is also “Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptor” (GHSR) agonists. GHSR are another type of receptor your body has and are the main site of action for GHRP. This receptor is normally activated by a hormone called ghrelin - the “hunger hormone.”345

Ghrelin - the body’s natural GHSR agonist - is a fascinating hormone on it’s own right that is under heavy, active research. It has wound healing properties6, anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects7, and is being tested an anti-obesity vaccine8. Too bad Ghrelin sounds like a sci-fi villain’s name.

Since ghrelin binds to the ghrelin receptor any GHRP that will bind there should act similar. But: this is where science and bodybuilding are starting to split apart. Most medical studies on GHRP are now exploring their interactions with ghrelin, the GHSR, and any interesting combinations of those.

Bodybuilders are more interested in the hGH aspects. Any other effects are usually secondary to building muscle quickly.

In any case we’ll look at both to see what’s going on.

The Different Types of GHRP

GHRPs as a class have been studied for several decades now.9 The molecules found so far include GHRP-1, GHRP-2, GHRP-4, GHRP-5, and GHRP-6. You will also see the names Ipamorelin, Pralmorelin, and Hexarelin mentioned. These are GHRP series analogs that got a cooler name. This is not an exhaustive list.

VERY IMPORTANT - We’ll discuss GHRP-6 first. Any of the benefcial effects there are not necessarily unique to just GHRP-6. GHRP-6 is not objectively better or worse than any other GHRP. It just gets the bulk of the research.


GHRP-6 structure



GHRP-6 (Growth Hormone Releasing Hexapeptide) is where most active research is taking place. There were 521 pubmed references to this peptide at the time of writing. New papers are coming out every month.

Much of the focus involved GHRP-6’s relationship with ghrelin (as mentioned above) but it is being found to have benefits of it’s own.

Muscle Building and Tissue Repair


GHRP-6 is indicated in improved wound healing and has anti-inflammatory properties.10 These pro-recovery and anti-inflammatory effects are caused by dropping TNF-alpha levels.11 It is also capable to assist in repairing damaged skeletal muscle cells.12 Another study finds that GHRP-6 has muscle building properties and raises IGF-1 levels locally. It also stimulates collagen production.13

Reported to heal injuries faster

There are many reports of people locally injecting GHRP-6 into damaged muscles for this reason - the healing time is subjectively reported as faster than usual.

GHRP-6 has been tested to reduce scarring on fresh wounds.14 Specifically, there is a reduction in hypertrophic scarring. GHRP-6 kept fresh wounds smaller and reduced inflammation when applied as a topical jelly. The reduced scarring would be very useful for facial trauma.

Neuroprotection and Nerve Repair


GHRP-6 might be a good therapeutic strategy for the treatment of ALS.15 There is evidence that the neuroprotection effects of GHRP-6 could help stroke victims 16 and it also plays a part in nerve function and repair.17

Bodybuilding/Hormonal Impact


Increased appetite and hormone levels

GHRP-6 is shown increase rat hunger in studies.18 Or, as most bodybuilders also report, it makes them very hungry. Crazy hungry. Ruin your macros for the day hungry. Some people use it during a bulk to increase caloric intake.

GHRP-6 is capable of raising prolactin levels in GH deficient rats.19 In humans GHRP-6 aso raises PRL levels.20 If you’re worried about gynecomastia take note.

Other GHRP-6 users use it for PCT after using steroids. It appears good at resetting natural hGH production. I think the PCT benefits also come from the soft tissue support and general anti-inflammatory properties.



Sounds promising…

GHRP-6 “impairs memory encoding on both acquisition and consolidation stages.”21 This would imply the ability to reduce memory encoding for traumatic events. (This is similar to propranolol being used to reduce/block disturbing memories and assist in preventing PTSD when used right after a trauma.2223)

…but it turns out to be bad

Unfortunately, there is evidence that sugest the opposite:

  • One study used the ghrelin receptor to reduce fear response and amygdala fear encoding in rats. GHRP-6 blocked this effect.24

  • Ghrelin combined with GH is indicated in “maladaptive changes” in the amygdala following prolonged stress.25 GHRP would only act to boost this negative relationship.

  • There is a theory of a cyclical feedback loop of PTSD raising ghrelin levels, which then in turn over activates the amygdala, which worsens PTSD.26 Again, GHRP usage could mimic the negative effects of ghrelin in this model.

The evidence seems to suggest against GHRP use for PTSD. It would be nice to study GHRP-6 specifically with PTSD or human traumatic memory encoding compared to propranolol. From a strictly amygdala hijack point of view it should not work.



In medical studies we find a wide range of dosing and :

  • 1 mcg/kg of GHRP-6 was enough to mimic the natural effects of 100mcg of GHRH.27

  • The same study found that 1 mcg/kg GHRP-6 + 100mcg GHRH resulted in in nearly a 4x increase in hGH levels compared to either of them alone.

  • Another study of 1mcg/kg GHRH + 1mcg/kh GHRP-6 finds a 3x increase in hGH when combined.28

  • Very high doses tested at 100, 200, and 400 mcg/kg in humans and found to have a 2.5 ± 1.1h half-life.29 I thought this dose was an error, but it was indeed that high.

  • 1x 600 mcg/kg for stroke recovery in rats.30

Bodybuilders report common dosages of 100-300mcg 2x or 3x a day. The well researched synergistic effect with GHRH is often exploited as well by combining GHRP-6 with mod GRF 1-29. As the medical studies show, this can require less of both to be used to still elevate GH levels.

GHRP-6 is a peptide that desperately needs more scientific studies done on humans to give medical credibility to what people are using the whole GHRP series for. I wish I had known about it for it’s reduced scarring and soft tissue recovery alone.


Not iPamorelin - this isn’t an Apple product! Also called NNC 26-0161 in some clinical research.

Ipamorelin structure




Ipamorelin is very similar to the other GHRPs. It is going to have the same results and benefits as GHRP-6. It was first studied in 1998 and found to be as good or better than GHRP-6 at raising GH levels.31 It also works as fast as other hGH secretagogues.32

Easier on the endocrine system

The novelty of ipamorelin is that it does not cause elevations in Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or cortisol like other GHRPs. At low enough doses it raises hGH levels but does not raise FSH, LH, prolactin or TSH levels.33 Ipamorelin is also used as a base for other GHRP analogs (ex: NN703) due to these gentle effects.34

Ipamorelin went to Phase II human trials in 2011. After some studies for gut health35, research for ipamorelin has mainly moved to steroid doping detection.3637

While nothing suggests it wouldn’t, more medical studies would be needed to see if Ipamorelin keeps other hormone levels stable while raising hGH over the long term. From what is published and reported it appears to act like GHRP-6. So it is very likely it would have similar long term effect. It is perhaps a bit gentler on the rest of the endocrine system if anything.

Used in bodybuilding but neglected in medicine

Bodybuilders report using Ipamorelin for long cycles (3-6+ months) with no negative effects. This makes sense given the research.


  • Single 3, 10, 30, 60, and 100 mcg/kg doses have been tested in humans.38

  • Medical studies used conservative doses due to often being used in patients with bowel issues. For example a very gentle dose of ipamorelin at 30mcg/kg twice daily for up to 7 days was well tolerated in bowel surgery patients.39

  • Tested in rats at 100mcg/kg each day40 and up to 450mcg a day.41

  • Bodybuilders report an average dose of 200mcg 1-3x a day, and often report using a GHRH with it.

After the halting of the human trials though is seems unlikely for clinical research to heavily explore this peptide anymore. GHRP-6 does a good enough job of testing the series in general. For many studies that is enough. Hexarelin is well tolerated by humans if an alternative is needed in medical studies - as long as cycling is taken in account.


Hexarelin structure




Hexarelin is very similar to GHRP-6. It was made in 1994 and was sold as the trade name Examorelin, and had a human clinical trial42. All research now is done under the generic name of hexarelin.

This peptide acts like a super version of GHRP-6. In the first trial hexarelin was found “slightly more effective than GHRP-6” at GH release.43 Dosing at 0.5, 1 and 2 micrograms/kg in the first human trial showed a hGH peak after 30 minutes.44 As expected with any GHRP, hexarelin is better at raising hGH levels than just GHRH.45 Citing it’s potency, hexarelin is also proven to display the synergistic effect with GHRH. 46

But unlike other GHRPs…


Unfortunately the downside is the brain develops a tolerance to these effects.

1995 is the first time a tolerance to hexarelin is found. A study finds “repeated hexarelin administration causes a reduction of GH responsiveness.”47 Research also proves that the synergistic effect of hexarelin with GHRH goes away after time.48 Finally in 1998 researchers make a paper called - “Does desensitization to hexarelin occur?49 And the answer: Yes.

Hexarelien has to be cycled to avoid this tolerance. 16 weeks was long enough to start significantly blunting the hGH response. A 4 week pause was enough to reset this tolerance.

Other than a tolerance window hexarelin functions as expected from any GHRP. Hexarelin shows a moderate rise in prolactin and cortisol levels50, and TSH51, when used by itself. It exhibits neurogenerative and neuroprotective effects for brain damage525354 and protects the heart after a heart attack.55.

Manageable side effects

Some rat studies showed an increase in hunger, but in human reports this appears to be absent (or at least tolerated.) This is likely why some people choose hexarelin over GHRP-6 for a short cycle to build muscle. By stopping at 4-8 weeks the majority of the hGH response stays while being more effective then GHRP-6. If any tolerance appears it can be reversed.


Studies all are around the same dosing:

  • Initial human studies never went beyond 2 mcg/kg, and many other studies used 1mcg/kg56, 1.5mcg/kg57 or 2mcg/kg also.5859

  • Hexarelin mixed with GHRH at just 0.25mcg/kg was more effective than hexarelin at 2mcg/kg.60

  • 60mcg 3x a day intranasally.61

  • 200mcg/kg is the max I could find that has been studied in rats.62

As expected, these doses correlate to what bodybuilders report using: 100-200mcg often used 1-3x a day like other GHRPs. Hexarelin is active at the mcg level like any GHRP. Unfortunately, many bodybuilding reports for hexarelin specifically get confused about the difference between Microgram (mcg) and Milligram (mg). There’s lots of copy and paste stories that tell people to inject 80x the amount needed. Sad and dangerous!

Medically, hexarelin seems interesting to quickly boost your body’s recovery after a heart attack, stroke, or severe injury. In that case the tolerance and slight elevation in other stress hormones is a non-issue. I’d like to see a double blind study comparing very high dose hexarelin to GHRP-6 for recovery after a heart attack. The better short term efficacy might offer better long-term recovery.


also called Pralmorelin, or KP-102 in early clinical studies

GHRP-2/Pralmorelin structure




Got a bad start…

GHRP-2 was first described in 1994 and had a mixed bag of results. It was found to have the synergistic effects that all GHRPs have63. This makes sense because it is based on GHRP-6. One outlying study was unable to recreate this synegestic effect between GHRP-2 and GHRH64. The same team then quickly moved onto human tests and showed that GHRP-2 was able to raise hGH levels in children with GH insufficiency65. But in some of the children, it was not as effective as would be expected for a GHRP.

Future tests though show GHRP-2 behaves as expected for a GHRP.6667 Some of the tested children tested had a synergistic response and responded better to GHRP-2 than before. And obese people responded very well also.

Proven safe in long term studies

Long term chronic use of GHRP-2 in humans seems to be safe, and one study finds the synergistic effects grew over time.68 GHRP-2 was safely used for 1 year to treat anorexia.69 Since it is a ghrelin mimic it caused an increased in appetite. Many bodybuilders also report that GHRP-2 increases their hunger as well, but not to the degrees GHRP-6 does. Most importantly though the study finds:

“No obvious side effects were observed after long-term intranasal administration of GHRP-2.”

And as expected GHRP-2 slightly raises prolactin and cortisol levels.70 It does not raise IGF-1 levels in humans71 and shows anti-catabolic effects to damaged muscle.72


GHRP-2 doses are in line with all other GHRPs. Medical studies have done:

  • 100mcg total to test metabolism.73

  • 2mcg/kg in hGH deficient children74 and 1mcg/kg in adults75.

  • Much higer doses in children, with 900mcg/kg 2x a day for year with no side effects.76

  • Up to 9mg/kg in pigs77 or 12.5mcg/kg in cows.78

And again, bodybuilders report similar usage of 100-200mcg 1-3x a day, which puts their dosing at clinical levels for GH deficiency.

All in all, in human use, GHRP-2 seems to be good at raising hGH levels. The reported beenfits and side effects are similar to any GHRP like GHRP-6. But the biggest difference is that GHRP-2 does not drastically increase hunger. The cortisol and prolactin elevation is something to watch out for for repeated use. Compare this to a gentler peptide like Ipamorelin that does not seem to have these wider endocrine effects.


GHRP-1 structure



GHRP-1 (or just GHRP because in 1984 who knew we’d make more!) was the first in the series. Early research specifically found that “the pituitary remained fully responsive to the peptide” after use.79 This was the first hint that GHRPs are not likely to cause tolerance, and why Hexarelin tolerance is unique.

This peptide is worth mentioning since it was the first and everything has grown from it. But there are better secretagogues now so GHRP-1 is not widely used anymore. Most research and use has moved on to GHRP-2 and GHRP-6.




Studied only recently and in reference to steroid or doping detection.8081 Appears to be mostly unexplored but everything about it’s structure suggest it would behave like GHRP-2.


aka Momany peptide, after Frank Momany, an early peptide researcher who is now retired.



It’s frustrating to learn about this one. Some older studies mention it but are actually typos.82 They meant GHRP-6. It has GH effects as expected83 and has been confirmed to raise Prolactin levels84 meaning gynecomastia prone people should be wary. Unfortunately that’s about all there is for GHRP-5. The elevated prolactin level implies it is acting similar to GHRP-1 or GHRP-2.

Future GHRPs

It’s unknown how large the GHRP family could grow. In theory biochemical engineers could continue to tweak the GHRP-6 molecule to make new analogs. There are some peptides not covered here like Macimorelin, Anamorelin, Relamorelin, and Tabimorelin. These are similar to rest of the series and some are in recent human trials.

Active research on ghrelin is exposing more uses of the GHSR inside the human body. As more is discovered I think we will see more chemicals made to mimic ghrelin’s effects on the whole body.

There are also natural compounds that behave very similar to GHRP. For example Emoghrelin85 and Ginkgoghrelin86 have similar effects but are not peptides, so they aren’t technically a GHRP.

So What’s the Best GHRP?

All of the GHRP series is going to be useful at raising hGH levels, improving injuries, and protecting muscles/nerves. (If you just skipped down here and want to see the exact effects go read the GHRP-6 section up above). The big questions become:

  • at what point are the side effects too much?
  • and how long is this going to be used?

Based on anecdotal reports:

  1. Ipamorelin seems to be a favorite for bodybuilders. People report long term (6+ months) use with no issues. This is likely due to it being the most gentle on the rest of their endocrine system. The reduced prolactin levels would prevent gynecomastia, and low cortisol would prevent adrenal fatigue. The normal GHRP activity would increase muscle and help any injuries.

  2. Hexarelin or GHRP-2 (Pralmorelin) both have clinical studies of long term use. GHRP-2 has been used safely for a year trial. Hexarelin needs to be cycled 16 weeks on and 4 weeks off to match the clinical trial protocols. Both of them have well researched healing and muscle building effects. People report the increased appetite is absent or manageable.

  3. GHRP-6 seems to be, of course, useable for building muscle. There is much clinical research going on with it. This is mostly because it is very effective in the short term. This effectiveness comes at the cost of sometimes intense hunger and other side effects in humans. People report it is good for a short term post cycle therapy that might have shut down hGH production. Or, for a few injections to heal a localized trauma. In that case any side effects are going to be acceptable when you desperately need to fix something.

  4. GHRP-1 has long been passed by in the medical world. GHRP-4, GHRP-5, and GHRP-3 are so poorly researched I can’t fairly say one way or the other.

Commercial availability matches these popularities. Is this a case of meeting market demand? Or the market responding to the limited choices offered?

I think it’s a little of both.


With GHRH analogs



Synergistic effects of GHRP + GHRH

Any of the GHRP series + any GHRH analog is a known combo with decades of research behind it. Many people combine their GHRP with something from the GRF (1-29) family. It takes advantage of the well-known synergistic effect between the two to get better GH release.

But, As the naming for GHRH analogs is all over the place, you see combinations like:

  • GHRP-2/Pralmorelin + CJC-1293
  • Hexarelin + CJC-1295
  • Ipamorelin + mod GRF (1-29)
  • GHRP-6 + GRF (1-29)

What a mess!

It’s confusing, but all are exploiting the synergy between GHRP and GHRH to increase hGH levels. The differences are just in what specific ones are chosen based on side effects, cycle length, etc. (Or, more practically, availability.)

With L-arginine


Mixed Effect:

L-arginine is another amino acid that has been tested with GHRPs. The results are a bit complicated, but it goes like this:

  • L-arginine is known to increase the hGH response during periods of rest. Exercise raises hGH levels as well, and higher, than L-arginine alone. But a combination of the two seems to actually diminish the gains from exercise.87

  • L-arginine and GHRP-2 have a synergistic effect in increasing natural GH secretion.8889

  • L-arginine, GHRH, and GHRP-2 achieved the maximal amount of GH release.90

…but the timing is hard

What does this mean?

On days of no exercise the latter triple combo would seem to the most effective way to raise GH levels. On days of exercise though, the paradoxical blunting effect that L-arginine has on GH would likely negatively effect GHRP/GHRH use.

But for a sedentary person, or someone trying to recover from an injury and unable to workout, there is evidence that the L-arginine + GHRH + GHRP is the most effective tested way of elevating hGH levels (short of exercise).

Note that many of the studies use GHRP-2 when testing these relationships. But the known synergistic effect of all the other GHRP series, and their similar other effects, suggest that L-arginine would interact the same with all the other GHRPs as GHRP-2.

Downsides of GHRP Use

GHRP, for all the benefits, have a surprisingly low amount of reported side effects.

  1. The biggest downside to any GHRP is going to be watching out for hunger and blood sugar. This is unique to these peptides. Ipamorelin and hexarelin are the least likely to have people complaining about them.

  2. Receptor downregulation is always a concern when dealing with steroids or any exogenous hormones. Hexarelin has a protocol to specifically combat this. In any case, clinical studies don’t point to a permanent tolerance developing across the series. Nor do they seem to show any permanent shutdown to natural hGH production like exogenous hGH does. Even at very high doses (400-900mcg/kg) studies did not report major adverse effects.

  3. Some of the series will raise Prolactin and Cortisol levels.

  4. Some people report localized pain at injection sites when given as IM shots.


GHRP is a very large series of peptides with lots of medical use and research. There are thousands of patents detailing their use in specific illnesses, or the chemical preparations of the peptide itself. Just from a random selection we have GHRPs being used in osteoporosis treatment, hGH deficiency diagnosis, use in fibrosis and scar removal, the treatment of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, for helping immunosuppressed patients, for helping regrow nerves in cases of MS, preventing heart disease and cholesterol problems, helping trauma based psychiatric problems, treating muscle pain, and growing muscle or muscle stem cells.

The volume of patent work speaks for the mountains of medical benefits these peptides can have.


GHRPs are either sold as the “GHRP-x” style name, or the named version like Pralmorelin. Sometimes they are sold as acetate forms. Luckily, when trying to buy GHRP peptides, there isn’t much confusion in the structures and vendors appear to at least be selling the correct compound under the right name.

Peptide site pricing:

  • GHRP-2/Pralmorelin: $30-32 for 5mg
  • GHRP-6: $25-30 for 5mg
  • Ipamorelin: $24-39 for 2mg
  • Hexarelin: $32-48 for 2mg

Chemical vendor pricing:


This is a good time to point out my standard disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a lawyer. I made this site to help in my own research of the human endocrine system, and to find any new treatments for PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. I’m not making any medical or legal claims about any drug here besides what medical studies are showing and what people are self-reporting they use.

Each country and state is free to make their own scheduling on substances so it’s up to you to check. At the time of writing GHRPs didn’t appear on the DEA list. I know Florida specifically has tried to schedule GHRPs.

WADA specifically bans some GHRPs by name, and the class as a whole. They prohibit at all times:

  • Growth Hormone Secretagogues (GHS), e.g. ghrelin and ghrelin mimetics, e.g. anamorelin and ipamorelin;
  • GH-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs), e.g. alexamorelin, GHRP-6, hexarelin, and pralmorelin (GHRP-2);

The NCAA bans as a class “Peptide Hormones and Analogues” naming “Growth hormone (hGH); human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG); erythropoietin (EPO); IGF-1; etc.” While a GHRP is not hGH, I believe the spirit of their list would include it.


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